Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Xombi #3 review


This comic book is amazing. It has a hero who can't die. Roman Catholic nuns with super-powers. A schoolgirl whose metahuman abilities are fueled by by faith. A kick-ass rabbi. A philosophical ghost. An immortal villain. Back-seat golems. 

And more. All in 20 pages. And while the story reads like the X-Files on steroids, it doesn't feel at all crowded. Because while supernatural mysteries grow and grow into epic tales, humanity remains at the core.

This issue continues the story begun in #1, with David Kim, the 'Xombi' of the title, fighting a losing battle against a lion demon - the Maranatha - who's the embodiment of rage. It's fair to say he loses the battle, but the nanites which continually heal his body give him a shot at winning the war. It's while David's lying on the ground, somewhat eviscerated, that a shade, attracted by the Maranatha, stops by for a chat. The ghost's message is an old one - life is wasted on the living - but so well-expressed that it's difficult to argue.

It's typical of John Rozum's meaty script that a cliche becomes a highlight. Even expository captions that could kill a story dead are a joy to read because they're lyrically written, full of fascinating ideas. While this is part three of a complex tale, I'd nevertheless recommend anyone who hasn't tried Xombi to risk $2.99; enough details are present to allow a newbie to jump in, and I doubt anyone could fail to be fascinated by the players (click to enlarge).
And that's without mentioning the art, so gorgeous as to be nigh-edible. The naturalism of Frazer Irving's people and settings is offset by his colour choices, which shouldn't work, but do. Brilliantly. Tones sit beside one another in ways that likely break all kinds of colour theory rules, but instead of hurting the eye, they evoke an eerie atmosphere that's perfect for the weird narrative. And his page compositions excite the eye, without ever getting so outre as throw us out of the story. Completing the core creative team is Dave Sharpe, who never puts a font wrong with his letters.

I can't believe that a comic book this good will survive in today's marketplace. Please prove me incorrect.

3 comments:

  1. The San Expedito line made me put the book down a minute. Excellent.

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  2. Absolutely fantastic! hopefully Green Lantern fans will confuse the movie ad plastered on the cover as a crossover notification and discover the wonders within. Love love love this book.

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